A local organization dubbed ‘Citizen’s Voice and Action’ has organized a national policy dialogue to engage youth in decision making in order to tackle challenges that still hinder their development.

The discussions that took place on October 29, 2019 brought together various Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and youths from University Institutions.

Samuel Hakuzimana, Executive Director of Citizen’s Voice and Action that organized the event said that the national policy dialogue on youth engagement was planned to engage different entities with the youths so that they discuss on youth’s role in decision making.

“Before we prepare this activity, we held discussions with youths from districts and universities where they presented existing challenges that hamper them to be engaged in decision making. Some of the leading hindrances is that the National Youth Council does not approach partners, unwanted pregnancies among teenagers, youth still fear to share their ideas in different plant forms from community (village) level, so it is a big problem if they cannot hold local government accountable and they need enough information to be able to show their role in decision making,” Hakuzimana said.

Samuel Hakuzimana, Executive Director of Citizen’s Voice and Action interview with The Express News

He said that the discussions they held will be fruitful as the youth will be ambassadors in fostering their engagement indecision making.

Citizen’s Voice and Action started the school of dialogue where youth will be meeting at sector level through their groups made of 30 people. This organization will also continue activities in Universities and Colleges to inform youths about their role and raise issues of concerns hindering them to participate in the national development.

The good governance clubs in Universities will also contribute in making changes starting from the neighbors of the schools.

Elaborating on violence and unwanted pregnancies among teenagers, Dr Nkurunziza Joseph executive Director of Never Again Rwanda said that Civil Society need to have enough financial capacity to reach them out and support them. “We are coordinating efforts to reach many youths,” he said.

Dr Nkurunziza Joseph executive Director of Never Again Rwanda photo The Express News

He said that parents need to teach their children about basic behaviours they should have at particular age to help them avoid lures.

“Basic knowledge starts at home, and parents should play a vital role.” He added.

William Mutero, Country Director of Plan International Rwanda said that “the whole idea is that we recognize that youth are an important part of the population, they are the leaders of tomorrow, this is the supply of all the skills that we need from leadership across private sector, civil society, government to drive the nation forward. So, if a large significant part of our population is youth, we need to pay attention to youth issues. So, this is why we organize this dialogue because we believe as an organization that you cannot talk about youth issues when the youths themselves are not there.

William Mutero Country Director of Plan International Rwanda photo The Express News

He said that they need to provide platforms and spaces to engage youth in offering solutions. He said that more of these dialogues are needed and will be conducted in the future to continue raise and tackle issues facing the youths. “we want the youths’ platforms to be everywhere, to be led and organized by the youths, what we are doing here in to trigger actions, to trigger debates, to trigger discussions, this is the start and it will continue,” William said.

One of youths and a student at University who participated in this dialogue said that youths themselves must use their knowledge in raising gaps and tackling existing issues before calling for government support.

“Our role is to be ambassadors and we need to start from our neighboring clubs in primary schools, in our homes, for our younger sisters and brothers. This should not be the burden to the government and we need to start from the knowledge we have to find solutions to our problems,” she noted.

The Express News

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